Gratitude Attitude

It’s easy to complain. Well, speaking for myself, I know that is true. At age 52, I am married to my best friend, we have two growing sons (that love baseball), extended family that love us, and gainful employment. The struggles we face are the similar to ones experienced by families and individuals in countless communities, yet our basic needs are met, and we enjoy life on a larger scale than previous generations thought possible, thanks in significant part to medical, scientific, and technological advances. So, why is it that I (or we) complain?

That’s rhetorical.

This is a baseball team blog, Bill, you say. Make your entry about baseball!

Okay.

I don’t recall the particular occasion of our visit to Putnam, Connecticut, nor the precise time of year, other than to say that it was during MLB season. The general reason for our visit was to see Grandpa and Grandma Ames, Mum’s parents. I loved their long, gently sloping back yard, with stately, well-trimmed pine trees dotting here and there around the perimeter. Grandpa kept the lawn cut short, like a smooth carpet. It was great for croquet or wiffleball.

On this visit, I was 6 years old, and my brother was 12. Dan had introduced me to the Boston Red Sox with the aid of a poster on his bedroom wall. It featured Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, and my favorite, Dewey–Dwight Evans. Even at such a young age, I wanted little more than to go to a Red Sox game with Dan!

Our first day at Grandpa’s, Dan came to me with exciting news: Grandpa and Dad were talking about going to the Red Sox game the next day! Dan said he wanted to go, and they said yes. When he told me that, I knew I didn’t want to miss the chance to see the Red Sox with my brother, my father, and my grandfather! I asked him to tell Dad I wanted to go, and to be sure not to forget me the next morning.

Dan and I were very excited. I went to bed so happy. The next morning, though, my happiness evaporated. They had left without me!

What a miserable day I had. Dan apologized to me when he got back. He told Dad and Grandpa that I wanted to go, but they were afraid I’d get bored. Probably if I’d told them myself I might have convinced them or they would’ve helped me understand the situation better. Instead, I held onto the disappointment for decades. As in, until I wrote this just now. Wow.

I never went to a Red Sox game with any of those three important men in my life. Grandpa died in the mid-1990s. He was no longer living in Connecticut. He’d become a widower and remarried, and then he’d moved to her home in Illinois. She was sweet to us, and I loved her, too.

Dad died this year, in April. He was 88 years old. Thanks to radio and NESN, he and I enjoyed many Red Sox broadcasts over the decades. He and his wife (Mum died in 1987) attended my kids’ events as often as possible– Little League baseball, cross-country, band and chorus concerts. I’m thankful that we saw the boys play baseball together. He would have loved watching Bangor Alternative Baseball.

Dan is alive and well and…in Wisconsin. He is still very much a Red Sox fan! He and his wife raised three wonderful young men that are also Red Sox fans. They have been to several games in Minnesota, for example, and catch the broadcasts however possible.

My family, then, most likely similarly to yours, has multigenerational stories of loving baseball. As easy as it is for me to complain about gas prices, inflation, job frustrations, poor player moves by Chaim Bloom of the Red Sox, or anything else, I’m much better off remembering that I’m blessed with reliable transportation, a rewarding job that pays the bills, a MLB team that has won the World Series 4 times in the last 17 years while the NYY have just 1, and that having a GRATITUDE ATTITUDE is healthier.

Enjoy yourself today. Be grateful for however little or much you have. Ask for help if you need it. 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Happy Thanksgiving, Bangor Alternative Baseball family!

Published by Bangor Alternative Baseball (BAB)

We are a coed team of teens and adults, ages 15+ with autism and other disabilities, that play baseball and learn life and social skills for on and off the baseball diamond. We are part of a national nonprofit organization featuring more than 80 teams across America.

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